Australian banks united in fight against scammers

Delegation to Singapore aims to boost regional cooperation

Australian banks united in fight against scammers

A delegation of Australian banks will visit Singapore this week to strengthen efforts against scams and enhance customer protection.

Led by assistant treasurer Stephen Jones, the group includes representatives from the Australian Banking Association (ABA), Customer-Owned Banking Association (COBA), Australian banks, the National Anti-Scam Centre, Australian Financial Crimes Exchange, and observers from the New Zealand government.

ABA chief executive Anna Bligh (pictured above left) highlighted the strength of Australia’s anti-scam protections and the importance of international cooperation.

“Scams are not unique to Australia – this is an issue that many countries across the world and in our region are also grappling with,” Bligh said. “This is a global problem and winning the war against scammers will require a global effort.

“We know that highly sophisticated international criminal gangs are behind many scams. That’s why ongoing cross-jurisdictional cooperation and information sharing will be crucial in this ongoing fight against scammers.”

Bligh emphasised the role of cross-jurisdictional cooperation in combating sophisticated international criminal gangs behind many scams.

“Scammers are always innovating and finding new ways to steal money,” she said. “It’s critical government and industry look at the different ways jurisdictions are tackling scams and what more can be done to protect customers.

“We are making inroads here in Australia with financial losses from scams trending down and fighting scams across international borders is essential to keeping Australians safe.”

COBA chief executive Michael Lawrence (pictured above right) also underscored the importance of regional alliances in addressing the borderless nature of scams.

“This trip to Singapore is an important step in strengthening regional alliances against scams, and we’re committed to collaborating across borders to share best practices so we can accelerate our ability to develop cutting-edge anti-scam solutions,” he said. 

Lawrence pointed out the broader impact of scams, which harm both individuals and communities and reaffirmed customer-owned banks’ dedication to customer safety and security.

“By working together, we can create a more secure financial environment for everyone and protect our customers from financial harm – regardless of where they live or who they bank with,” he said.

The banking industry’s Scam-Safe Accord includes a $100 million investment in a new confirmation of payee system, introducing more warnings and payment delays to protect customers, adopting further technology and controls to prevent identity fraud such as using at least one biometric check for new customers, expanding intelligence sharing across the sector, and implementing anti-scam strategies by all banks.

What else can be done to prevent scams? Comment below

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